Electrolytes…

I was listening to someone in the gym this week talking about shedding excess water weight.  They were trying to accomplish this through concoctions and water pills, diuretics.

I caution against this because the consequences of depleting your body of water will disturb the balance of your electrolyte composition which can have severe consequences.

Most people use quick water loss to lose weight momentarily for an event. While on the scale it might make you feel better, it really isn’t accomplishing anything since any water lost will immediately be recovered as soon as you start hydrating because your body will absorb it again.  This is especially true if you do it with some of the gimmicks I cited above.

If you are maintaining too much water, you need to look at the sodium content of what you eat.  Sodium absorbs water.  The average adult needs just 200mg of sodium a day.  A Taco Supreme has over 1000mg’s of sodium!  Everything around you is packed with sodium because it acts as a preservative for food.  So if you want to lose water weight naturally, reduce your sodium intake which reduces your body’s ability to retain water when you hydrate.

But back to electrolytes…

When you lose water through sweat, pee or unnatural means, its not just water you are losing.  Electrolytes are formed of ions from sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium just to name some of the major ones.  They are contained in the water.  I did a major post on the most important minerals that you can read here.

All life forms requires a delicate balance of electrolytes.  This balance controls blood pH as well as nerve and muscle function.  So shedding water for the sake of losing weight can impact this balance.

Creating an imbalance of the ions mentioned above can cause cramping, irregular heartbeat, confusion, blood pressure changes as well as nervous and bone disorders.

Severe cases of electrolyte imbalance has occurred in bodybuilding where hospitalization and even death has occurred as one prepared for a contest.  While this is rare and extreme, it does show that water loss is not something to be taken lightly.

Maintain an electrolyte balance by keeping hydrated while training.  Any water loss you wish to shed should be done naturally by watching your sodium content.

Being aware of the consequences is one way to be…Fit Forlife!

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